Waiting On The Drop
Last October I was diagnosed with Diverticulitis, which is basically a series of pouches along my large intestine that could become inflamed or infected and cause incredible amounts discomfort. I was suppose to see my PCP soon after the night in the ER, but due to government red tape, I didn’t get health coverage until as early March.
Fortunately, my family and I found ways of treating it without actually treating it. Between prescription pain pills and over the counter drugs along with ice packs, heating pads, and the occasional Icy Hot patch, we’ve been able to manage it for the better.
The only problem is that sometimes I’ll get what we call “an episode” in the middle of the night without warning and I’ll end up waking up the house. That’s when a lot of problems come into play.
And when these episodes happen, they’re so sudden and swift that by the time I realize something’s wrong, I’m already crippled and dependent on other people. And I don’t mean crippled like, “oh it’s gonna take me extra time to get some pain relievers,” I mean I physically cannot move without throwing everything into disarray. The slightest muscle twinge radiates as pain torrents throughout my back and into my legs. That’s what I mean by “crippling.”
To give you an idea how of sudden an episode can be, one night I thought I had it under control. I was sleeping on the pullout bed in our living room when suddenly my back woke me up.
I got up and took an ibuprofen and took an ice pack with me back to bed. When that didn’t work, I took some Bayer back and body and heated up an organic heating pad. I thought I had it under with that one, but to no avail. I decided to concede and get an Icy Hot patch. An Icy Hot patch is usually a last ditch effort to alleviate the discomfort.
That’s when it got bad.
I was unaware how bad the pain was until I tried to stand up and I collapsed onto the floor. I was able to raise myself to the edge of the bed, grab my phone and frantically text my mother, “I’m stuck, I need a patch.”
My parents were both down in a few moments with my mom running to the bathroom to get a patch and my dad letting our pups out so they would calm down from the excitement. The whole time I’m trying to keep composure through gritted teeth, a sweating brow and increasing pain. I’ve yet to master that one.
My mom prepared the patch and when she slightly moved the back of my shirt up to place it, the movement set off a pain ripple that made me cry out like an injured bear cub. It subsided and then she quickly placed it on while I waited for it to work.
And what felt like hours was only a few long minutes. The patch began to work and I could at least get upright and on the bed. Eventually it would completely cool me and allow the relief I so desperately needed. We were able to go back to bed after a semi-normal episode. A normal episode is usually me just curled up in a ball, yelping until someone comes down to help me. That’s what we consider “normal.”
And that’s how bad it can get: I can’t move until that damn patch drops the concentrated dosage of ointment I need to feel better, or at least well enough to sleep and sit comfortably. As much as I love those damn patches, I hate that the relief isn’t instantaneous.